Stress Destroying Breathe

calm sea

Calm Sea - photo by D. Hennessey

I have a good friend who manages to stay very centered and balanced during stressful times. One thing I know for sure is she has told me she practices what is called Conscious Breathing.

In simple terms conscious breathing is when you take the time to follow your breathe as you breathe in and out without thinking about anything but your breathe. It can really help you focus your mind if you are stepping into a possibly intense business or personal situation. Or if you are simply in a traffic jam!

Thich Nhat Hanh the renowned Zen Master has a superb ability to put into simple terms life nourishing actions and it was in his book Peace is Every Step that I first read about Conscious Breathing.

One of the key ideas he suggested is that as you breath say quietly just one word the word ‘IN’ as you breathe in. Then say quietly just one word the word ‘OUT’ as you breathe out. The use of these short words helps you focus on your breath and keep centered. After doing this for a few minutes he says you will feel refreshed.

Personally, I have began practicing Conscious Breathing when I feel unwanted stress. For me it really helps me feel more relaxed which is always beneficial for me whether I am in traffic or simply having an ‘off day’. Test it out to see if it is good for you.

By the way, if you want to read a little more about Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life follow this link. I have my copy of this book for over ten years and I turn to it frequently. It is full of ideas you can practice as part of a modern life to find peace and happiness.

Enjoy a wonderful day,